When I first talked to my (black hatter) cousin about sex a few months after she got married, I was appalled. For several reasons.
First, she told me she was still shy to take her clothes off around her husband, and made him turn the lights off. They had been married for 6 months already. But she was completely shomer negiah before marriage, so I guess that is explainable. (but still a little sad, in an "awww, i bet she isn't having regular orgasms either" kind of way)
Second, she told me that her rabbi's wife had told her during callah classes that she was not allowed to use any form of birth control until she had given birth to both a boy and a girl. She was 19 when she got married, and still in school. So she basically used birth control before her marriage to regulate her period so she wouldn't be in niddah on her wedding night, but stopped right afterwards.
Is it really against halacha to use birth control to delay having children until you are done with your college education? Seriously? Are we now forcing young women to have children once they are married? And do they have to have a boy and a girl? What if they have 8 boys in a row? Are they still not allowed to use birth control? (This was a few years back- she is now 22 years old and has 2 baby boys, about 11 months apart from each other. I'm assuming she still is not using birth control because she doesn't have a girl yet).
Third, she thought if you didn't start having kids by the time you were in your late 20s, your "biological clock" ran out, and you could never have kids. That's why you had to get married in your early 20s apparently. I've recently seen this same sentiment in some young frum girl's blog.
Girls, this is absolutely, 100%, not true. Your chances of conception don't even START to get lower until you are in your late 30s. (like 36-37). And after that it's not like your chances fall off a cliff or something. at ages 35-39 you are 75% as likely to have a child as someone younger, and at ages 40-45, you are still 50% as likely. These were the rates before we had things like in vitro fertilization, which increase your chances of conceiving exponentially at older ages.
Here's a convenient chart I found in 5 seconds of googling:
so your fertility doesn't even start to drop off until you are 35. And these are actual births per woman, not their chances of conceiving...so these are affected by a number of other factors (like whether or not you are trying to have more children). So this late 20s bullshit is just a bunch of bullshit.
Fourth, she had no idea about how women get pregnant. Mind you, later I found out she was about 3 months pregnant while we were having this conversation. She had never heard of the word "ovulation", had no idea that you got pregnant at certain times of the month, just didn't know about any of that.
Are we really neglecting jewish sex education, even to women who are ACTUALLY getting married, to the point where they don't even know how pregnancy happens? My cousin is a smart girl. She went to college, she's working on a masters degree despite her two infant aged children...and yet she was so sheltered she had NO IDEA how conception worked. WHILE SHE WAS ALREADY PREGNANT no less!!
some interesting facts on the Jewish laws of niddah and conception:
Fact: Conception is most likely to happen about 2 weeks before you get your period, during the period called "ovulation". That's when an egg is dropping out of your ovaries and hanging around your womb, waiting for some sperms. If you don't get pregnant, you get your period about 2 weeks after that.
Fact: conception is more likely to happen if your man's semen has a high sperm count. Men who don't masturbate (according to jewish law) and don't have sex with their wives for 2 weeks during nidah, have been saving up their sperms. They are likely to have a higher than normal sperm count the first time they have sex after nidah.
Fact: Nidah is when you can't have sex with your wife while she is getting her period, and for a week after her period has stopped. Then, after that 2 week period, she goes to the mikvah, and it's a mitzvah to have sex with her that night (according to what I know of nidah laws...correct me if I'm wrong here)
Fact: If a woman is on a 28 day cycle (which is the average), gets her period for around a week, she will be approximately 14 days into her cycle when she has sex after going to the mikvah. Which, if you look at it the other way, means she has approximately 14 more days until her period starts again. WHICH means she is most likely ovulating on that night that she comes back from the mikvah. And is having sex with her husband, who (if he follows all the Jewish laws) has not masturbated or had sex in 2 weeks, and therefore has super potent sperm.
It's almost as if the whole system is designed to maximize the chances of women getting pregnant! In fact, it IS designed that way!